Venturing the Risk of Sailing the High Seas of Philosophy
“What ship is that? The Athenians say that it is the one in which Theseus sailed away to Crete with seven youths and seven maidens and saved their lives and his own as well.” - Phaedo 58a-b
Ancient Greek literature is filled with images of sailing the sea and all of the dangers attached to the enterprise. None of this was lost on Plato who arguably organizes his image of Socrates, who always seems to be grounded on land, around the idea of being engaged in the practice of philosophy as a way of being at sea; being at risk. The way of philosophizing Plato has Socrates practice appears to be intentionally risky and wrought with imminent danger. In this talk I appeal to the language of risk in Plato’s Phaedo with a view toward arguing that Plato’s understanding of philosophy calls us to a form of heroism informed by heroes like Achilles, Odysseus, and Theseus.
Kevin Thomas Miles, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy, Earlham College
Kevin Thomas Miles received his Ph.D. from DePaul University in Chicago, and is Professor of Philosophy at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, where he has been teaching since 2004. He has published essays on Du Bois and race theory. Currently he is teaching and researching on Hesiod, Homer, and Plato, and is specifically interested in references to ancient Greek heroes and their tragic relations with their fathers.
Change this content by editing the 2019 conferenceMeet the Team